Actor, singer, songwriter, cage-fighter and stuntman, Tom Proctor is currently best known for his role as Horuz in Guardians of the Galaxy and the role of Bidee in 12 Years A Slave, however he will be acclaimed shortly for his superb and overwhelming singing and prolific songwriting artistry. Occasionally in life you come across a rare individual who shines above others for their kindness or unparalleled distinctiveness, such is that of Tom Proctor.
With 70 IMDB credits to his name, Proctor has appeared in many films and television series including: Nashville, Lawless, Justified, Django Unchained, and Westworld. In 2014 he won Best Actor in a Short Film at the Northeast Film Festival. He also won Best Actor in a short film at the 2018 Chandler International Film Festival.
Currently Tom is engaged in three unique projects. There’s an album soon to be released entitled “Tom Proctor & the A-Listers WORKING MAN”, a release with some of the most heartwarming, story-telling songs on the planet. His genre defying songs and harmonious vocals are not only impressive, but compelling and addicting. The album was recorded in the famous “Dark Horse Recording Studio”, an establishment that has seen the likes of: Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Jeff Beck, Matchbook 20, Reliant K, Alice In Chains and many others…
He is also creating a TV show that will be called, “Tom Proctor & the A-Listers WORKING MAN TOUR”, “where the music hits the road”. The concerts of “The Working Man” tour and the television program features Tom riding cross-country on his Harley with his very cool biker friends, and performing at Back Yard BBQs. Proctor will do this in hopes of giving back to all of the hard working people who have inspired him to write and record his music.
Lastly, there will be a break-out, stand-alone, 1-hour Documentary: “Making of Tom Proctor & the A-Listers WORKING MAN”. The A-Listers are Billy “Thunder” Mason, Geoff Butterworth, Mark Corradetti, and Mark Thomas.
The A-Listers are a group of seasoned, talented musicians who have worked with the biggest names in the history of music, and have collectively worked with Tim McGraw, George Strait, Luke Combs, Zakk Wylde, Travis Tritt, Martina McBride, Tanya Tucker, Florida Georgia Line, and many, many more. Tom Proctor and the A-Listers are getting ready to take the Country Music world by storm.
I had an in depth, very intimate and personal heart to heart with Tom Proctor, and by the time we were finished I felt as if I knew him all of my life. Aside from his endearing talent and warm heart, Tom is also quite candid and very funny…..
I’m in love with your songs.
It’s kind of amazing. They worked out really well. They’re a good band.
There was a good singer in there too.
I don’t really know what chords I’m playing. I won the guitar in an arm wrestling match like six years ago. I just started playing. I was gonna sell it, but then when I started just messing around with it, I found it relaxed me a lot, and if I play guitar all the time I don’t yank as many people out of the car. It sounds crazy but it’s true. It’s like therapy of some kind. I don’t know.
I knew you’d be funny.
Funny, the people I yank out of the cars usually aren’t laughing. I’m glad you found it funny.
So, do you write these very passionate and prolific songs?
Yeah. Well…I kind of wrote them. The guy that did write them is buried somewhere in between Texas and Louisiana so he can’t prove it.
What inspires you when you write these songs?
Ok…the song “Lost in New Orleans” about the stripper…it really wasn’t a song about a stripper. When I was down in Louisiana I had some accidents doing stunt work and stuff that put me out of work. Literally with that guitar I played on the street and was able to make a living. There was a girl in my apartment complex who was the best mom in the whole world. So I made up the story about her being a stripper. Maybe deep down inside I wanted her to be. But she was just a really, really good mom. Then I played her the song and told her I wrote this song about her. She loved the song. Then I left New Orleans for a couple of years and came back to meet some investors and she was working in this real high-end restaurant waitressing. She came over to me and looked at me as if she had seen a ghost. Then I got up to go to the bathroom when she cut me off and asked to talk to me for a minute. I asked her what’s up? She asked me to please not tell anybody that she was a stripper. I told her I didn’t know she was a stripper. And she said “but you wrote that song, and you knew about Johnny.” I said, “I knew about who?” She said “I would have never dated a client, except for your song”. I said, “Who the fuck is Johnny” she told me that now he was her husband.
So you guessed all that kind of?
Yeah…that inspired that song. “Delete You” is very obvious what inspired that. I broke up with a woman who was really good with computers and everything. I couldn’t figure out how pictures came off my phone and then I would come back and they would be back on my phone. How did she do that?
So you’re a singer, a songwriter, an actor, a stunt man, you ride a Harley, you’re a dad….is there anything that you still dream of accomplishing?
I’ll probably wind up doing it…whatever it is. I’ve been really fortunate in my life. I was convinced that I was going to die before I was 30 because I have a bad heart valve. So I decided to live fast and furiously. So I’ve always just done what I did. I broke horses, I have won film awards for stunts with horses I’ve trained, I made a quarter-mile drag record back in the day when I crossed the finish line facing the starting line, I fought full contact fights, heavy weight and super-heavyweight. My grandma was just my absolute love. I loved her to death when I was a kid. She was the one who encouraged me to tell stories and sing. She liked me to sing for her. I didn’t play guitar at the time so I would make up songs….”I love my grandma and my grandma loves me”… She was an amazing woman, and a psychic. She was a real psychic, she talked to dead people …she’d tell your fortune. Her last day she told me to always sing, “your voice and your songs ….your ability to sing…just make sure that that’s what you do”. So when she died, I started playing drums and my older brother played guitar, and we played together.
You are like a superhero…nothing is going to stop you….
You know everybody has their thing, Superman has kryptonite and I have cigarette smoke. That’s the only thing that can kill me. We used to play the clubs and I would be back there drumming, with a bucket to throw up in during the break. I just couldn’t do it. It was making me deathly sick. So I gave it up. Then it resurfaced again when I won the guitar in an arm wrestle. I should have known it would because my grandmother has never told anybody something that has not been true.
She sounds amazing and here you are.
Yes, she was a wonderful woman, and this is where we are now, it’s very exciting.
How many kids do you have?
I’ve got nine.
You’ve had a very interesting life thus far.
I don’t think my wives would have picked me.
Well how many wives have you had?
There’s some I shouldn’t count. Do the ones that got annulled count?
Then I have to go with seven. One of the last ones all I remember was I was sitting at a blackjack table in Battle Mountain Nevada, which happened to be a whore house, so how I wound up married I don’t know. It definitely wasn’t a get laid thing…. The last thing I remember I had won $1700 and I wanted another wild turkey in water, woke up in Reno, with my cars radio all full of sage brush. I apparently got off the road somewhere along the way and left my best buddy in a phone booth. But it turned out to be OK because the next day he was still in the phone booth.
So you’re a real authentic cowboy?
So what do you hope to do with your music? Do you intend to play stadiums?
Actually I like to play backyard barbecues. That’s what we’re going to set up. Where I just load the guitar and go on Harley’s across America and go to backyard barbecues. You meet great people at backyard barbecues.
I love that idea.
Then they could set up stations for the band. I have a big disconnect here in Hollywood because I’m use to people saying exactly what they mean. I didn’t know that “good luck with that” means that “I hope you and your project rot in hell”. I thought that “good luck with that means”….good luck with that …somebody should have told me.
This is going to be the wildest interview I’ve ever done.
Oh, this is an interview? When I do an interview I’m usually on my good behavior.
No need to, you’re perfect just the way you are.
Well then instead of saying “I” said this…can you say “a friend of mine said”… I had a film company who I had a falling out with. They didn’t follow up with the stuff they said they would. Then all of a sudden they realized they had a contract with me. It was a short film where I won best actor. Instead of them being happy that I won best actor it was pinned and posted on Facebook that I won best actor because of the writing. It was nominated for the best woman’s film, but it was not a woman’s film. All of the actors in it were male. The only one that was female was the writer. The other films were all really female. So we got to talking and I suggested we just go by the contract. Then he put out a claim that I grabbed his wife’s butt on the Red Carpet. So his attorney told my manager that if I didn’t drop their contract they were going to pursue that and ruin my reputation. I started laughing. I told him that they can’t ruin my reputation. I told him that if “I am on the red carpet and someone said that I didn’t grab their ass, then that would ruin my reputation”…..which I absolutely did not.
This is the Gods honest truth…. I have beat up more bullies than anyone I know. I hate bullies. In school I would beat up the bullies especially those who bullied handicapped kids. It was terrible at our school. But I figured out that my beating up bullies was in fact bullying. It wasn’t the right way to handle it. I have a Facebook friend that mis-took me for Mark Boone from The Sons of Anarchy. He offered me $500 to go down to his nephew’s school, grade school and pick up his nephew on my bike from school. I said “why would you do that”? He said the kid had autism and he’s never talked but when he finally did talk they kept bullying the boy. He threatened them by saying “My uncle is the Son of Anarchy.” Of course they all laughed. I said, ” ok, you don’t owe me a dime but make sure the kid has all of my pictures and videos. I pulled down there with 39 motorcycles, and me looking like the friendliest one of the bunch. We had not even finished parking when 6 cop cars showed up. When the cops asked me what I was doing I told him I was there to pick up my nephew. He asked me what was really going on so I told him. And the cop said to me, ” if this works I’ve got another school to send you to”. So the kids came out along with one of the bullies with the kid that had autism. This kid is an adorable little kind of chubby redhead with eyes of an angel. One of the kids yells, ” holy shit it is the Sons of Anarchy”. That little kid put his hands on his hips in a superman pose and stepped off the sidewalk and said, “and he’s a Guardian of the Galaxy”. Then he comes running over yelling, “Uncle Tom, Uncle Tom”… and jumped on the motorcycle.
That’s the cutest story ever!
To kick off the stories of the backyard barbecues, there’s just things that happen there that right themselves. I have a pilot license. And I had this friend growing up which was one of the people I wouldn’t let people bully. His name was Terry. And Terry had something wrong in his brain and his heart. He wanted to be a cowboy so bad that he would show up in these Australian outback costumes with a cowboy hat. Everything that a dime store cowboy could buy. His dad was always threatening me, telling me that he was going to die and that he didn’t want him on horses and things like that. Terry wanted to go up in the plane. I wanted to take him up in the plane, but his dad said if you take him up he was going to sue me because he has a bad heart and he’s going to die. I told his dad he is dying anyway. He was 34 years old, and that we were all dying one day at a time. I’ll only live till I die. But I will live right until I die! So I took him up in the plane and had him call his dad from a cell phone. We were riding over him while he was in the tractor. I told him to tell his dad to step out of the tractor and look up. I put the plane into a full on spin….well Terry did finally pass away. It wasn’t in a plane, or on one of my horses. He was doing nothing which was a damn shame. We weren’t meant to die in a bed. A man should die fucking or fighting….that’s the way we were meant to go out.
I love you !
Thank you. I’m just me and I never really fit in anywhere. It’s just like my songs, nobody knows what they are. These aren’t country, they aren’t rock…what are they ? These are fucking songs!
You’re songs can’t really be labeled to a genre I think.
If you’re listening to it and trying to categorize it you would be wasting your day. You just listen to it with your heart and you’ll have a good day.
When is the album coming out?
Ok, the whole album… we recorded 10 tracks, and the last one we got back there was a story behind too. Sometimes in my songs I think I might’ve gotten a little of my grandmothers psychic ability to see future and stuff.
They say it’s hereditary.
The thing with the stripper turned out to be a true story. My sister damn sure got it. There was one song called, “When Did You Put it in A Song.” I had had a real bad surgery and I couldn’t do any movie work at all. I was literally living on the streets in New Orleans. I lived under a bridge, that’s where this song, “Why Don’t You Go Home,” came from. That song, I did not write it, I dreamt it. I woke up and really quickly played what I heard. I recorded it on my phone so I wouldn’t forget it. So I went to play it down by the Royal Oyster House and these guys were all impressed and thought I sounded like Bob Seger. Well, I packed up and I was going home and I went past this one bar there and some of the guys that had been there saw me and asked me to come in and play a song. That’s a no-no in Louisiana. Musicians just don’t go in bars. But the bartender was getting huge money everywhere. So the bartender told me to come in and play one song. So as I’m walking up there I saw this couple sitting at this table with some paperwork. I always think of paperwork as being a script. I always think of it as a movie thing that I can get in. I was looking for work. So I was kind of looking to try and see if it was a script. But then I figured out….. no, these guys are getting a divorce. But neither one of them were happy about it. If you’re getting married you should be happy about it, and if you’re getting a divorce you should be happy. Neither one of them were happy about it. So this song started coming in my head. I was paid $150 to play “Simple Man”. But when I got to that stage, “Simple Man” just wouldn’t come out. This other song did.
I think you’re giving me the psychic chills.
It was called “When Did You Put it in A Song”. The lyrics in it say,
“It was at that café bar when we got our start, we were saying our final goodbyes. The lawyers had the papers drawn up and mine were already signed, to leave it all behind. He walked to the stage, picked up his guitar and a shot and he started to tune. He looked in my eyes like he knew who I was and said son this one’s for you, but I hope it isn’t true.” Then it says, “Much to my surprise, tears soon filled their eyes, and the pain came flying off those strings. And the next thing I know we were holding each other tight, and putting back on those wedding rings.” The chorus says: ” How did you know about me and my wife, how did you know about my whole damn life? How did you know about all the things I’ve done wrong, and when did you put it in a song?” Then the verse came up: “He knew about the day my little boy was born, and the way that I felt when they sent him off to war. The way that I lost my mind when he didn’t make it home, and how I left her all alone. And he knew I took my pain to another woman’s bed, he knew word for word everything I had said. But somehow from his song she understood, and it was all good.” The last verse said, “I don’t know who you are, but it seems that we’ve been down the same road or two, but I’d hoped it wasn’t true.” In the last chorus the singer said, “Cause I was just singing about me and my ex-wife, I was singing about me and my whole life. I wanted to stop someone from doing what I’d done wrong, and that’s when I put it in a song.”
Bit for bit, including the son that went to war, and the marriage fell apart was all true for that couple. I don’t know about now but as of five years after I wrote that song they were still together. Kind of funny, huh?
You’re really a Psychic song writer.
I have 5 sisters, 5 daughters and every one of them have a world that looks like a shrine to me. I learned to fight, I have a black belt in five different systems and I wanted to come up with a way to make sure nobody could hurt my sisters or my daughters. I have this really protective thing for women because at the point you’ll see me in the picture on my grandmother’s lap…. my grandmother had made a mistake by marrying this guy that was grandpa Jesse. He was an alcoholic. And grandpa Jesse would get drunk and beat her up. At that age I pushed a chair across the room and slammed it into his knees. He was beating up my grandmother. He hit me and knocked me out cold. When I came to my grandmother had been beaten up really bad and had to be taken to the hospital. I felt at that point no one would ever knock me out again. I would never be knocked out no matter what. And after 250 full contact fights, and how many bar fights, and all the stunt work I’ve done, I ain’t been knocked out since.
You’re some kind of anomaly. In the best possible way….
Well sometimes it’s a good way. Sometimes it’s a way that people don’t understand. I make deals on a handshake and expect people to stick to it. I must be doing something right because look at this band that dropped in my lap….. this is Tim McGraw’s goddamn band. The reason I named them the A-Listers, is because they are the A-Listers….of Nashville. Everybody thinks my songs and all are good, but you could put a trained monkey on with these guys and he would sound good. They’re amazing! They are all on board and they want to be part of the “Working Man Tour.”
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